Most of us who were opposed to Obamacare already knew about this one.
MYTH OF 50 MILLION UNINSUREDThis is something that I always wondered about but have not heard elsewhere. Since we're overweight doesn't that mean we will be much less healthy than the places where the people are thinner?
For example, we were told that there were as many as 50 million uninsured people in this country. But as Atlas explained, that number was greatly exaggerated.
First, as we discussed on this blog previously, somewhere between 10 and 15 million of that group are not U.S. citizens. That may be a problem, but it’s more of an immigration problem. That does not seem like a reason to turn our health care system upside down.
What about the remaining 35-40 million? Atlas explained that those numbers came from a survey conducted by the U.S. Census Bureau. And there were about 10 million people who said they didn’t have insurance, but did — as was discovered by cross-referencing the claims with medical records that contradicted the claims. For the most part, these people were using Medicaid, which they may not have considered insurance. Apparently people thought the question was asking about private insurance. But someone who is getting health care through Medicaid is hardly “uninsured.”
Then, it turns out that there was another group of about 13 million people who were eligible for public insurance (Medicaid, Medicare, SCHIP/CHIP) who are eligible for state health insurance but did not access it yet.
Ultimately, Atlas says “you are left with a population of less than 5% of people in the United States who don’t have insurance or who are not already eligible for current government insurance programs. I would not call that a crisis in the uninsured.” Indeed.
Once again we learn that lots of people are killed on government run roads.
MYTH OF POOR LIFE EXPECTANCY IN U.S.Read some more. Found thanks to Rhymes with Cars and Girls.
But weren’t we told that governments with more involvement in health care have better systems? For example, our life expectancy is pretty wretched according to most measures. Except Atlas points out, when you control for “suicide and immediate death from high speed motor accidents” — things where the health care system can’t save you anyway — all of a sudden we shoot to #1. Plus there is another thumb on the scale that has to do with society and not our health care system, because we are an obese society, and obesity lowers life expectancy quite a bit. But that’s not the health care system’s fault. It’s not your doctor’s fault you are fat. So if we’re #1 even with all the obesity, after you control for things doctors can’t fix, then we’re doing pretty well.